Tag Archives: wheat

#2188: Singa-Me Instant Noodles Chicken Flavour

This one was sent to me by Jen from Australia – thanks again! Chicken… Pretty standard flavor. It seems that the very first instant noodle any company produces is chicken. Everyone likes chicken! Right? Well, I like chicken. Let’s give it a go!

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add contents of sachets and boiling water to inside line. Cover for 3 minutes. Stir and enjoy!

Detail of the lid (click to enlarge).

An included fork!

The noodle block.

The soup base sachet.

A light powder with a chicken scent.

A sachet of vegetables.

Looks like corn, carrot and peas.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added chicken baked with NuTek Salt For Life and pepper, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts and spring onion. The noodles were drab and ho-hum but they did the job as it were. They are of a thin gauge and although well hydrated, it was like they were fighting being hydrated in the way of slight crumbliness. The broth has a odd herbal tinge to it that I wasn’t entirely happy with in this application. Vegetables disappointing; while corn hydrated very well, peas were chalky and carrot was a bore. 2.5 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 9337944000362.

Australian Cooking From Down Under: 70 Amazingly Delicious Australian Cooking Recipes From the Outback and Beyond

A video about street food in Melbourne, Australia.

A Nice Gift From The Man Who Wrote The Book On Asian Noodles

A couple years ago, I had the opportunity to check out a course taught by Dr. Gary Hou at the Wheat Marketing Center in Portland, OR. It was a short course on making instant noodles and really fascinating. It’s coming up again and as a thank you for letting everyone know about it, Dr. Hou sent me something!

Check it out (click to enlarge) – Dr. Hou literally is the man who wrote the book on Asian noodles! This looks really interesting; I’m not just interested in tasting instant noodles, but have always been fascinated by the workings of the instant noodle factory and the science behind instant noodles as well. This looks to be pretty in-depth and technical. Once I’m done reading it, I’ll share my thoughts! If you are looking to get a copy, find it here.

A note inside the book (click to enlarge). Thank you! I hope to make it down again!

He signed the book, too (click to enlarge)! Thank you very much! Looking forward to reading!

#1109: La Fonte Spaghetti With Bolognese Sauce

You’re probably wondering what the deal is here. Well, I’ll tell you! These were sent along with a slew of other Indonesian (yep – it’s from Indonesia!) instant noodles. These are made by Indofood, the same company that makes Indomie! They only take 4 minutes to make, and I think they’re unique enough that I’d review them. Thank you to my friend from Indonesia for sending me noodles I could never lay my hands on here! Let’s check ’em out!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). It says it contains beef broth and ‘meat.

Spaghetti noodles. Definitely a single serving.

The sauce packet.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added beef, Vidalia sweet onion and red bell pepper sauteed with a little garlic salt. The noodles are what they claim to be – pretty standard spaghetti. The have a nice color and chew. The flavor’s great – the sauce has lots of little bits of what I figure it ground beef and has a nice tomato flavor with a little sweetness. Excellent – 4.25 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 8888900600115.

Looks like a school assignment where students make a commercial for this product. Pretty nice!

Special Report – How Instant Noodles Are Made: The Pilot Line At The Wheat Marketing Center [VIDEO]

Recently, I was given the great opportunity to visit the Wheat Marketing Center in Portland, Oregon. People who work with noodles and other wheat products from all over the world come here to take part in the Asian Noodle Technology and Ingredient Application Short Course. The course is taught by Dr. Gary Hou, an expert in the production of wheat noodles like ramen and yakisoba. I found out about the course via a news feed I follow and decided to email Dr. Hou and see if I could cover the instant noodle workshop for The Ramen Rater. I was very pleased when he answered in the affirmative, and so on March 27th, we got up early, hopped in the car and drove to Portland! In the following pictures and video, I’ll describe how instant noodles start as raw ingredients and become the blocks of noodles we all know so well. I’ll go through everything from photos first, and then there’s a video at the bottom of the process. Enjoy!

In the photo above you can see participants getting ready to make instant noodles.

Here we see Dr. Hou interacting with students who have been broken up into teams. Each team will experiment with different ingredients in the noodles they make.

The recipes are very precise.

The first stage: ingredients are put together and mixed.

Cleaning the first machine that will be used on the pilot line. Why is it called a pilot line? Well, for example, filmmakers will make a pilot episode of a television show to pitch to executives at a television studio. If they like it, it will go into production. This pilot line is where R&D food scientists test theories and fine-tune recipes. Once they’ve got things exactly the way they want, their recipes and methods will be translated into a large production line which is designed to make noodles at a much faster rate.

The logo on the machine.

After the ingredients have been combined, the dough rests.

It then begins the process of being flattened into a long strip.

After it goes in, a cover is attached.

As you can see, plenty of keep hands out signs. Industrial strength rollers evenly flatten the dough.

A long, flat strip of the dough. On to the next machine.

These are machines that flatten the strip we saw in the last picture gradually thinner and thinner until it reaches the desired thickness.

It finally reaches this machine, where it is cut into noodles. There is a blade that moves in a wobbly fashion which makes the noodles wavy as you see here.

Next, the uncooked noodles take a trip uphill.

They enter a steam cooking unit. The steam is boiling hot and cooks the noodles.

Dr. Hou converses with students while waiting for the noodles to come to the far end.

Here is where the noodles will emerge from after their steam bath.

Next, the noodles are cut and folded in half, then weighed.

Here they are immersed in a deep fryer. They cook in here for just over a minute.

The noodles are done and ready to be popped out of the cooking containers.

The finished product: two blocks of instant noodles. I was able to see how they tasted fresh out of the fryer and they were quite good – warm and crunchy!

Here you can see the process in motion.

My thanks go to The Wheat Marketing Center, Dr. Gary Hou, Mike Allen, and my wife Christine who took on the task of driving me down and back – a long day but one full of learning. Want to find out more about The Wheat Marketing Center? Check out www.wmcinc.org for more information.

#980: Meet The Manufacturer – Sun Noodle Cold Ramen Soy Sauce Vinaigrette Sauce With Honey Apple Added

Here’s another cold variety to check out!

The ingredients and instructions (click image to enlarge).

Noodle packet.

The seasoning liquid.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added hard boiled egg, ham and Urashima Sesame & Salt furikake. The noodles are nice – chewy and very hospitable to their chilliness! The liquid ‘dressing’ is salty and flavorful – light and has a nice balance of saltiness, vinegar and fruit. Delicious! 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 085315400066.

Trailer for ‘Ramen Dreams’

#979: Meet The Manufacturer – Sun Noodle Nama Soba Buckwheat Noodle

First off, I’d like to wish everyone a wonderful Lunar New Year! Here’s another one from Sun Noodle! This one is served either hot or cold, and I thought I would try it cold.

Here are the ingredients and instructions (click image to enlarge).

The noodles. Notice how they are of a different gauge and color.

The liquid seasoning.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added green onion, hard boiled egg slices and Urashima Sesame & Salt furikake. The noodles are interesting; they definitely have their own flavor of buckwheat and are sturdy and chewy. The liquid has a very light flavor – this reminds me of a salad dressing but exceedingly light in flavor. This was good stuff – never been a huge fan of cold noodles until the last year and really like these. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 085315122333.

Talking ramen with Keizo Shimamoto of GoRamen.com

#978: Meet The Manufacturer – Sun Noodle Ramen Pork Flavor

Here’s another of the Sun Noodle line – pork flavor ramen! Let’s check it out!

As you can see these are fresh ramen. The way you cook them in different from an instant block (click image to enlarge).

Here are the fresh noodles in a little baggie. There are two of these included.

Here’s the broth mix. Tonkotsu is a pork bone broth.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added hard boiled egg, green onion, sweet onion, chopped ham with garlic, narutomaki and Urashima Sesame & Salt furikake. The noodles are suberb – it is no wonder that ramen restaurants pick these to use. They are so nice and fresh and quite elastic. I have never understood the plusses or minuses of elasticity, but have heard many comment on a good noodle’s elasticity and these have elasticity! The broth is excellent as well – a deep and flavorful pork bone broth with a great balance of flavor, saltiness and depth. This is top-notch stuff. Easy 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 085315400035.

Here’s a video made mentioning Sub Noodle during the Japan Film Festival in Los Angeles.

#977: Meet The Manufacturer – Sun Noodle Yakisoba Japanese Style Stir Fry Noodles With Powdered Sauce

 

Here’s the first review of the Sun Noodle Meet The Manufacturer spotlight, their Yakisoba. Yakisoba is one of my favorite Japanese noodle dishes. What’s nice is that the flavoring contains one of my favorite flavors – Worcestershire sauce!

Here’s the back of the packaging (click image to enlarge).

The pack comes with two packs of noodles and two packets of seasoning.


Here’s one of the packets of Yakisoba seasoning.

Has a great aroma of Worcestershire and has a nice taste.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added chicken, sweet onion, broccoli and green bell pepper. Also added kizami shoga (pickled ginger) and Urashima Sesame & Salt furikake. the noodles are remarkable – nice and mellow and really good. Definitely fresh stuff! The flavoring is excellent – full of great yakisoba sauce flavor. Awesome – 4.5 out of 5.0 stars!UPC bar code 085315233350 .

Here’s a link to a really nice video about Sun Noodle.

Meet The Manufacturer: Samples From Sun Noodle

A nice big box…

…of fresh noodles from Sun Noodle for Meet The Manufacturer! Ramen, yakisoba, udon, saimin… Lots of different flavors to review! Thanks go to everyone at Sun Noodle!

Meet The Manufacturer: Sun Noodle Interview

Welcome to another installment of Meet The Manufacturer! This time, it’s Sun Noodle – purveyor of fresh ramen noodles and other fine products. Here’s an interview I did with them via email.

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for agreeing to do this interview! Could we start off with some information about Sun Noodle; when was Sun Noodle founded, where and by who?

SUN NOODLE> Sun Noodle is a family-owned business which manufactures fresh noodles, gyoza (pot sticker) and wonton wrappers; as well as an importer and distributor of Japanese noodle soup bases and sauces.  The
company was founded in 1981 by Hidehito “Hide” Uki in Honolulu, Hawaii.  With the growing demand of Sun Noodle products in the mainland, Sun Noodle California was established in 2004, now located in Rancho
Dominguez, California; then Sun Noodle New Jersey (Teterboro, New Jersey) set foot in 2012 to meet the demands of the East Coast.

TRR> For those of my readers who are not familiar with your line of products, could you tell us a little about them?

SN> We produce a wide variety of noodle products for both food service markets and for retail markets.  First off, we have our assorted ramen(s):

  • Shoyu Ramen
  • Miso Ramen
  • Tonkotsu Ramen
  • Shio “Vegetable” Ramen
  • Tantanmen (“Spicy Sesame”)
  • Hiyashi Chuka (“Cold Ramen”)
  • Cold Ramen with Gomadare (Cold Ramen with Sesame Seed Sauce)

We produce other types of Japanese noodles as well:  Yakisoba, Udon, Nihon Soba (Buckwheat), Wakana Soba (Spinach), and Okinawa Soba.  The great thing about being in Hawaii is that it has opened Sun Noodle to many different types of cultures.  With that, we produce Chinese noodles as well as “local” noodles of Hawaii.  We have Chow Mein, Chow Fun (also known as Look Fun), Cake Noodle, and Saimin Noodles.

TRR> What is the story behind the name Sun Noodle?

SN> The meaning of the “Sun” in Sun Noodle is twofold.  Hidehito Uki was attending Hawaii Pacific College for about a year before starting up the noodle business.  He said that when he thinks about Hawaii, the first
thing that comes to mind is the sun (and the beautiful ocean, of course!).  The second meaning behind “Sun” is that the Sun as the center of the solar system is the most powerful of its kind.  Without it, many living
things cannot survive and Hide believes that the sun provides people with positive energy.  Like the sun, Sun Noodle strives to be the best at providing quality noodles, providing noodles to give people the same type of
positive energy.

TRR> Is Sun Noodle involved in the local community around you?

SN> Yes, we are involved in our local communities at all three locations:  Hawaii, California and in New Jersey.  Every year, we make charitable donations to non-profit organizations.  In Hawaii, we participate in
the annual Okinawan Festival, which strives to perpetuate the culture with the community of Hawaii.  We are also actively involved with the youth soccer community in Hawaii.  In California, Sun Noodle is involved with
various Japanese Festivals and other Japan related events such as the Summer Festival at the Mitsuwa Market and the Japanese Food and Sake Festival.  We recently started serving ramen at UC Santa Barbara and hold
ramen classes at our local cooking schools from time to time.  With the recent devastation of Hurricane Sandy, Sun Noodle New Jersey took part in an event with Chef Ivan Orkin to raise funds for the victims
affected by the hurricane.

TRR> How many miles of noodles would you estimate you produce a year?

SN> 600,600 miles of noodles.

TRR> Are there any new products that will be coming out soon that you could tell us about?

SN> For the professional use, we have some new frozen soup stocks and NO-MSG “tare,” sauce that enhances the flavor or body of the ramen broth.  The retail packs will be redesigned to be more appealing to the customer.

TRR> Can you tell us about the different varieties of noodles you produce and how they differ?

SN> Our main business is to manufacture different styles of ramen noodles tailored to the restaurants needs.  Besides ramen noodles, we also manufacture yakisoba, Okinawa soba, Japanese buckwheat soba, udon, and pasta.

TRR> A lot of people wonder about the health factors (sodium, etc) when it comes to instant noodles. How do you recommend people made instant noodles a healthy part of their diet?

SN> The key here is moderation.  Like all other types of food, it’s about consuming them in moderation – enjoy a bowl of ramen say once a week rather than…everyday.  Also, because some bowls of ramen have higher
levels of sodium, it’s important to balance that out by drinking lots of water.

TRR> Do you make/sell products other than noodles?

SN> Yes, we make gyoza or “pot sticker” wrappers and wonton wrappers and we also sell noodle soup bases and
sauces.

TRR> What was your first product?

SN> Our first product was the ramen noodles

TRR> I initially found out about you via a mention on the trailer for the award-winning short film ‘Ramen Dreams‘  – can  you tell us about it and your involvement?

SN> Keizo of GO RAMEN! (www.goramen.com) is a good friend of ours and it is our goal to support anyone with a ramen dream.  ‘Ramen Dreams’ is a short documentary film about Keizo’s life to pursue his ultimate ramen
dream.  The film was featured at the NY Food Film Festival and we wanted to support him any way possible throughout the process.  The night of the Food Film Festival, we provided the ramen noodles to be served
after the film showing.

TRR> How does the process in which you make your noodles differ from other brands?

SN> Each company has their own secrets of making noodles. We take care of sourcing the best wheat flour, using artisanal techniques (water temp, flour temp, pressing the dough gradually, adjusting the thickness by
.1 mm for the customer) and doing the best we can to tailor make our ramen noodles for restaurants across the country.

TRR> When you make noodles for yourself, do you add anything or have any recommendations?

SN> Traditional toppings are great [“cha-shu” (sliced char siu), “menma” (bamboo shoots), “nori” (dried seaweed), etc.] but also using local ingredients available at your nearby supermarket is a great way to play
around with flavors.

TRR> Where can people find your products?

SN> You can find our products at most Asian supermarkets such as Uwajimaya, Nijiya Market and Mitsuwa Supermarket.  If you’d like more information on the accessibility of our products in your area, you can email
us at our website on www.sunnoodle.com.  We are more than happy to help you.

TRR> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn more about Sun Noodle!

There you have it! My thanks to Hisae and Kenshiro Uki for making this happen and everyone else at Sun Noodle! Watch for a series of reviews of their products during the next weeks!

Interview * Product Samples From Sun Noodle * Sun Noodle Yakisoba Japanese Style Stir Fry Noodles With Powdered Sauce * Sun Noodle Ramen Pork Flavor * Sun Noodle Nama Soba Buckwheat Noodle * Sun Noodle Cold Ramen Soy Sauce Vinaigrette Sauce With Honey Apple Added * Sun Noodle Ramen Miso Flavor * Sun Noodle Tantanmen Spicy Sesame Flavor Ramen (Mild) * Sun Noodle Ramen Shoyu Flavor

#976: Nissin Donbei Tensoba (Tempura Soba)

Here’s one I found at the Bellevue, Washington Uwajimaya. Pricy stuff – $3.39 for a bowl noodle? Wow. Hope it’s good! Looks like Donbei is a style and tensoba is just a shortening of tempura soba. Let’s hit it!

The importer sticker.

All of the side panels (click image to enlarge).

This was underneath the lid (click image to enlarge). Looks like a contest – did I win? Anyone know about who/what the little musical character is? Check out the website.

Buckwheat soba.

Powder base.

Salty and almost lemony.

A tempura disc.

Has a definite seafood smell.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added Urashima Sesame & Salt furikake. The noodles are very good – they have a nice strength to them and are square rather than round. I like them. The broth has a sweetness of soy and a nice comforting flavor. The tempura disc is crunchy and has a seafood taste. When it soaks up the broth, it lends itself to the other and has a nice heartiness. All in all, a great bowl of noodles. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 4902105033746 – get it here!

Nissin Donbei Tensoba TV commercial.

#975: Ottogi Spaghetti Ramen

Here one that came from Korea by way of Kristen W. of Arizona! Thank you so much! I’ve wanted to review this one for a long time! Let’s check this unique variety out.

Side panels (click image to enlarge).

The noodle block.

The powdered flavor packet.

The powder had a sweet flavor to it.

The veggie packet.

Corn and meatybits!

Here’s the sauce packet – lots of red stuff in here!

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added sweet onions, light ham and Urashima Sesame & Salt furikake. The noodles are pretty standard ramyun noodles. The seasoning powder that stirs in has a light sweet’n’salty taste. The spaghetti sauce? Sweet and just a little spicy. The veggies are decent. This is a lot of fun and tastes great! 4.5 out of 5.0 stars – unique and enjoyable!UPC bar code 8801045571416.

Old Ottogi TV commercial.

Looks like an older Ottogi TV commercial!